A Palestinian primary school teacher who encourages students to renounce violence has won a $1 million prize for teaching excellence, beating out 8,000 applicants from around the world.

Hanan al-Hroub, who teaches in the West Bank, was awarded the second annual Global Teacher Prize during a ceremony Sunday evening in the Middle Eastern city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Many in the audience erupted with chants of "Palestine" when her name was announced.

Ahead of the prize being awarded, Pope Francis talked about the importance of education in a video message to the audience in Dubai while Hollywood actors Salma Hayek and Matthew McConaughey took to the stage to deliver brief messages of their own.

The inaugural prize last year went to Nancie Atwell, an English teacher from Maine.